Dr. James Madison DeWolf


Dr. James Madison DeWolf was born January 14, 1843 and perished June 25, 1876 while the 7th US Cavalry was battling Indian Warriors at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Born in Mehoopany in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, Dr. DeWolf was a farmer prior to the US Civil War.

While 17 years old, Dr. DeWolf enlisted in the 1st Pennsylvania Artillery on 1 Aug 1861. Dr. DeWolf got his first taste of combat at the First Battle of Bull Run and was promoted to Corporal. A gunshot wound to the arm, severely wounding him, hastened his discharge on 29 Oct 1862 . After healing up, Dr. DeWolf re-enlisted in September 1864 in Battery A, 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, and served there until his discharge on June 14, 1865 as the US Civil War had ended. Dr. DeWolf once again re-enlisted on October 5, 1865 as an infantryman, and enlisted once more October 5, 1868 at Camp Lyon, Idaho, as a hospital stewart under an assumed name.

Dr. DeWolf re-enlisted on October 5, 1871 for the last time and under his own name. A short time later, on Halloween 1871 (my kind of guy! A Halloween wedding!), he married Fannie J. Downing at Camp Warner, Oregon Territory. The newly married James Madison DeWolf entered Harvard University School of Medicine in September 1873, and graduated on June 26, 1875.

In October 1875, Dr. DeWolf signed a contract with the US Army as an Acting Assistant Surgeon. Dr. DeWolf was attached to the 7th US Cavalry at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory. During the Battle of The Little Big Horn, Dr. DeWolf was assigned to Major Marcus Reno’s command. Dr. DeWolf was slain on June 25, 1876 during Major Reno's rout from the wooded area to "Reno Hill". Dr. DeWolf and his orderly had made it back across the river were going up a path in a coulee. When Dr. DeWolf reached the top of the coulee, he was shot in the abdomen.

After the Battle of The Little Big Horn was over, Dr. DeWolf’s body was recovered with six additional bullet wounds to his face and head. Like the other slain US Army personnel, he was initially hastily buried on the battlefield near where he fell in combat. Being an officer, Dr. DeWolf was exhumed in 1877 and interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Norwalk, Ohio. His widow, Fannie, remarried on June 10, 1879 to Elijah Dodd in Waterville, Ohio.

Dr. James DeWolf




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